There has been a lot of backlash against House Republicans since Speaker Kevin McCarthy was said to have promised Fox News host Tucker Carlson exclusive access. Now Republicans say that he won’t be the only one after all — thousands of hours of video will be available to all media outlets, although they’re not currently offering a time frame for when this will happen.
Last week, the news broke that Carlson was getting special access to the footage and that a member of his crew was already watching. However, if McCarthy thought he’d satisfy right-wing constituents with that move, he was quickly proven wrong — the backlash was bipartisan.
A coalition of media entities including CNN, ABC, and CBS addressed Congress with a request for the footage to be released in a more equitable manner.
Meanwhile, even MAGA star and pillow entrepreneur Mike Lindell has threatened to file a lawsuit if McCarthy doesn’t give him access to the footage as well, claiming that to do otherwise constitutes discrimination and a violation of the First Amendment.
House Majority Leader Steve Scalise responded to the complaints on Tuesday, saying that the footage will be “ultimately released to all media,” but did not state how long it will take for other media entities to be given access, nor address the special access reportedly given to a right-wing ideologue whose show has a reputation for its regular rebroadcasts on Russian propaganda television networks.
Conservatives have implied that, by not releasing the entire 40k hours of footage to the public, the January 6th Committee was somehow engaging in a cover-up or controlling the narrative.
It’s a claim that goes hand-in-hand with unsupported conspiracy theories about undercover FBI agents being the true drivers of the attack, a claim belied by the open admissions by defendants that they came to the Capitol because they believed Donald Trump was directing them to do so.
In fact, there have already been convictions and guilty pleas for charges of seditious conspiracy, with the state entering evidence that both Oath Keepers and Proud Boys were involved in advance planning of the day’s events.
Prosecutors have also entered evidence that participants stored an arsenal of weapons off-site for quick retrieval — not exactly supportive of a narrative that involves the attack beginning with federal agents in the mob.
See Scalise below, announcing that footage will be available to all media networks.
House Majority Leader Steve Scalise says the security footage from January 6th “will be ultimately released to all media” after Speaker Kevin McCarthy reportedly released it exclusively to Fox News’ Tucker Carlson. pic.twitter.com/7Al1Qsk7K5
— The Recount (@therecount) February 28, 2023
Then, here’s Mike Lindell last week, stating his intentions to sue and force McCarthy to release footage to him for LindellTV.
Mike Lindell says that he is filing a lawsuit against Kevin McCarthy because he released the Jan. 6 footage to Fox News and not Lindell TV. pic.twitter.com/zq6cxKnb4W
— Republican Accountability (@AccountableGOP) February 23, 2023
Despite the widened availability of the footage, House Republicans have still not addressed the criticism that the release of all of the previously confidential footage would harm the security of the Capitol by revealing the positions of cameras and other security measures.
Steph Bazzle covers politics and theocracy, always aiming for a world free from extremism and authoritarianism. Follow Steph on Twitter @imjustasteph.